How to wear: tie-dye
The hippy-affiliated pattern is back, and this time I’m a fan
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Being a male celebrity in 2019 means getting deeply ironic with your style. You can make like Shia LaBeouf and wear hot pink leggings. Or wear a jumpsuit in correctional facility-orange like Pete Davidson. Alternatively you could follow in the footsteps of Jonah Hill and Justin Bieber, and go for tie-dye.
“What?” I hear you cry. “Isn’t tie-dye something you do with kids on a rainy Sunday, or a fabric worn only by those left behind at Glastonbury’s Green Fields, still selling their handcrafted wares a week after the festival’s ended?”
Well, no. Tie-dye is hippy-centric no more. This season, the Jerry Garcia associations are long gone and only the tiniest memory of Woodstock remains. This year’s fluoro-marbled prints are the preserve of Coachella-come-latelys who don’t want their summers to end. A flash of tie-dye signals that you’re having, like, a totally rad, bitchin’ time.
When Bieber and Hill wear it, they’re referencing the delightfully named “scumbro” trend, a style that is somewhere between a slacker, a tech bro and one of those entitled kids from Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring. It’s owning a look that says you’ve rolled around in the contents of an American Apparel outlet bin (see also: the dad-cap and the Croc). You are, to paraphrase M People, elegantly slumming.
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As a trend, it’s easy to dip into: the high street is flooded with tops, trousers, pants and even tie-dye socks. But it’s also in the collections of streetwear-facing labels (Off-White, the Elder Statesman) in a slightly more muted way: think washed-out pastels on white rather than DayGlo brights. It’s one of the most accessible gender-neutral trends to wear, too, and is big in womenswear this season. When it comes to what to pair it with, treat it like a floral print.
Do I feel scruffy in the slouchy brick-coloured psychedelic sweater I’m wearing today? I do not. And I think the reason is twofold. First, the pattern does not feel overbearing, unlike some recent trends (hello, leopard print). Second, I’ve paired it with neutral tones – my trouser-and-shoe choice are distinctly funereal by comparison. Think of tie-dye as the sartorial equivalent of your most chatty, doesn’t-stop-to-breathe friend, and match accordingly. And, for the love of eyesight, never, ever double tie-dye.
Priya wears sweatshirt, £30, topman.com. Trousers and trainers, his own.
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